Giving Back

Hillside School is Collecting Items for Military Dogs

Hillside School Learns about the Role of Military Dogs. Credits: Marilyn Lehren

LIVINGSTON, NJ – Hillside School is providing support for the training of military dogs by participating in the Sgt. Denny Project, a program of the Lt. Dennis Zilinski Memorial Fund, which provides care and support for American service personnel and their families, and also supports the K-9 for Warriors, which matches highly-trained rescue dogs with soldiers who have suffered extensive trauma. The Memorial Fund was created to honor 1st Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II, a New Jersey resident who was killed in action in Iraq in 2005. His parents, Dennis and Marion, attended the Hillside assembly.

The school will be collecting items until April 4 and donating them at the Spring Service Dog Walk to be sent to military working dogs in Afghanistan. The items needed include: One-ingredient treats (such as freeze dried liver); Kong toys, Nylabone chews and toys (Made in USA only-ingredients are best for Service Canines); unscented shampoo with oatmeal added to prevent dry skin; and collapsible water bowls and Leather Leashes. No tennis balls are needed. To make arrangements to donate, call 973-535-8000.

Recently, Brix, a military working dog, and his handler, Master-at-Arms Stefan Molinaro (MA2) of the United States Navy, talked with Hillside students about the role of dogs in the Armed Forces.

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The dogs, Molinaro explained, are trained to detect chemicals used in the manufacture of bombs and to sniff out 123 different types of explosives. Military working Dogs not only provide companionship to military members at war, but they also protect handlers and troops by standing guard, sniffing for bombs or alerting them to enemies. They have saved many lives since beginning their work during World War I.

Click here to see The U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument and learn more about the program.

Click here to see a video about the program.

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